Cam Hooke’s Collingwood Life – 2019 season review

 

By Cam Hooke

 

Fair and unbiased followers of our great game would have seen the Pies making the 2018 Grannie as a bit of a surprise; and getting so close even more so given where we had come from the previous year. Our performance in our last two games of the season against Richmond and the West Coast Eagles was extraordinary – simply outstanding. But we are Pies supporters, the True Believers, who hope for and expect nothing less than success week after week.

 

This was a strange season given the extraordinary equality across the competition. Any team could beat any other on their day and the corollary was also true – any team could lose to any other team.

 

Our season started poorly with the first three rounds leaving us sitting eleventh on the Ladder, noting this was based on Losses to Geelong, Richmond and the WCE, each of which turned up in the Finals. Then, after a couple of wins, we sat 2nd or 3rd on the Ladder for the next 12 weeks. But, post our Round 13 Bye, our run of nine wins and two losses stopped suddenly.

 

Just as we started to look towards the end of September we got a serious wake-up call. In a five-week period North, GWS and Richmond thrashed us. Hawthorn beat us but it was close (and I was relieved when they didn’t manage to make the finals). But we beat West Coast Eagles by a solitary point in Perth. It was this period when we had massive injury absences that I termed our ‘finals work-up’. The last four home and away games were icing on the season and we made the Top 4 (I’m still debating whether the Top 4 finish and winning the Qualifying Final is a positive or not).

 

Our Qualifying Final against Geelong was the highlight game of our season. In a hard-fought, low-scoring match we won convincingly (though a couple of quick goals from Geelong in the final quarter were a clear attention-grabber). Was this our best performance? Given our opposition, and taken across the whole game – yes. But what followed? We lost our Preliminary Final against GWS. We decided to play against them for one quarter (only) and very nearly won. Imagine if we’d played like we did in the final quarter during the first three? And so our 2019 season ended.

 

Every player on the team performed notably at some stage, most many more times than are easy to record here. The Collingwood team reflects talent and endeavour, application and support. I have only mentioned a couple in the highlights, but everyone on the team performed.

 

Season Highlights (not in order):

  • Top 4 finish. This also appears below. I’m not sure the double-chance and the week off after the Qualifying Final success are good or bad
  • Grundy’s performance (see lowlights, below, regarding transition)
  • Pendles – Mr Smooth, 300 games
  • Buck’s correction of the crowd booing of Pendles as BOG at the Anzac Day game (Interestingly, Ricky Stuart, coach of the Canberra Raiders said something similar when Wighton, from the losing side, was awarded BOG at the NRL Grand Final).
  • Treloar’s touches
  • Speed of transition out of the backline and variety of delivery into the 50 – outstanding improvement during the season
  • The VFLW Premiership, wheelchair and netball teams’ successes
  • The ABC TV program Collingwood – From the Inside Out
  • Support to Kyron McGuire and his family (including his run-on and chair-off)
  • Goldie’s contribution to the Club and, specifically, his farewell speech
  • Audiences – Collingwood topped the audiences over the season (AFL highest: Round 6 (Anzac Day) – 1.417 million; Average weekly also highest: 460,000 TV plus 224,000 Foxtel).
  • Aunty Di’s comments at the Copeland Trophy awards and
  • Games:
  • Our Q4, Preliminary Final performance;
  • Our Qualifying Final over Geelong;
  • Round 22 Win over Adelaide in Adelaide;
  • Round 17 Win over WCE in Perth;
  • Round 16 Loss to Hawthorn. Interesting, a Loss as a highlight;
  • Round 8 Win over Carlton;
  • Round 6 (Anzac Day) Win over Essendon; and
  • Round 5 Win over Brisbane.

 

Season Lowlights (also not in order):

  • Our injuries and other absences (including Beams);
  • Top 4 finish (to be fair);
  • Transition of hit outs to advantage into clearances. While the next step – Inside 50 – was good, we were wasting Grundy’s dominance;
  • Scoring behinds – a difficult shot where a behind or out of bounds on the full is the result leads to a handover of possession which in the current game leads directly and quickly to the opposition scoring;
  • Eddie’s comments regarding tossing the coin;
  • Stephenson’s betting scandal and resulting absence; and
  • games:
  • Round 15 loss to North;
  • Round 18 being thrashed by GWS
  • Round 19 being thrashed by Richmond.

 

As a member I am proud of the Pies’ performance in 2019.

 

Go Pies in 2020.

 

This was Cam’s contribution to the Tigers’ Almanac 2019.

 

Join The Footy Almanac’s AFL tipping comp (Title: ‘Footy Almanac 2020 Tipping’) HERE

 

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

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